Statement by the Hon. Stéphane Dion, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada and Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada

Statement by the Hon. Stéphane Dion, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada and Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada

The planet has reached its limit. The human-caused damage to our natural environment is devastating.

The most urgent issue facing our society and our government, indeed humanity as a whole, is the climate crisis. It has the characteristic of being irreversible, with every single year’s emissions constituting damage that will not dissipate for a century. We are, essentially, stoking the furnace for ongoing climate instability that threatens our children and grandchildren.

Currently, our two parties agree that urgent action is needed. So, too, do the vast majority of Canadians. Yet our electoral system could return to government the only political party that does not believe action is required urgently. In fact, its “climate action plans” will allow for increasing greenhouse gases, missing our Kyoto target by ever higher amounts of emissions, and stalling international progress to meet the challenge of this global threat.

As leaders of political parties, we realize that leadership implies responsibility. We each have a major responsibility to ensure that our respective parties do well in the next election no matter when it comes. Each of our parties will expect us, as Leaders, to fight for our beliefs and for our respective candidates from coast to coast

We also have a responsibility to future generations. To protect our environment, to reduce emissions effectively while strengthening our economy, the composition of Canada’s parliament must change to a House of Commons full of MPs who recognize the serious threat of climate change and who are willing to work together to lessen it.

We have agreed that the country needs a strong signal that puts progress ahead of partisanship. To achieve Kyoto, Canada needs MPs and a government that actually understand the threat of climate change and the need for urgent action. This reality has impelled us to seek limited cooperation. While the need for cooperation may be obvious to the average Canadian, within political parties, one is not supposed to allow even limited cooperation.

We admit we are different from most adversarial, political leaders. We respect each other. We will always put the country and the planet first.

Out of respect for each other and out of our shared commitment to a greener Canada, we are not running candidates in each other’s ridings.

We recognize that a government in which Stéphane Dion served as Prime Minister could work well with a Green Caucus of MPs, led by Elizabeth May, committed to action on climate. On many issues, we would have policy disagreements; on others cooperation would be possible. No matter what the issue, we recognize that, although opponents in the political sphere, we are committed to doing politics differently. That means open and transparent, fair-minded communication. Another issue where we believe progress could be made is in the potential for electoral reform.

Today there are larger issues at stake than the petty partisanship of politics. We are confident that Canadians will appreciate this shared commitment and our efforts to protect our children’s future.



Decision on electoral reform by the citizens assembly!

In case you understand this stuff.. I'm posting a message I got from Larry Gordon of Fair Vote Canada.
The real work starts now - to get people supporting this option for a fall referendum. Check the news this week and make yourself aware, and get understanding the recommended system.

The Ontario Constituency Assembly picked its MMP model (90 constituency seats, 39 listseats, closed prov. list) as its preferred alternative. The vote was 75 for the MMP model, 25 for the STV model, 1 spoiled ballot, 2 people absent. The final step for the CA is the April 14-15 session when they decide whether to recommend the alternative over the status quo...not a lot of suspense on that decision.
Impacts of climate change are going to be unimaginable if we don't act soon.

My guess is that the next UN report from the International Panel will release data that begins to stir people up - information about global heating that most people have not yet heard from the scientific community unless you've been researching.
The third world will suffer extraordinarily, but not us, at least for a while.

Check the latest with what other campuses have done recently: